What’s the difference: Honor 9 vs Honor 8

Should you upgrade from the Honor 8 to the Honor 9?

The Honor 9 made a debut not so long ago and even though the phone won’t be available in the US for a while, you can use this time to consider whether the Honor 9 is actually worth the upgrade or not?

We really loved the Honor 8, but what could the Honor 9 bring extra to your life? Most importantly, is it worth shelving your beloved Honor 8 or does the older model still have what it takes to be your companion throughout 2017?

Design and Display

Honor’s new affordable flagship features a glass and metal chassis with curved 3D glass on the rear. The curved back will at least, in theory, make the Honor 9 more comfortable to hold in hand. Not that its predecessor wasn’t comfortable to work with.

The Honor 8 features the same sleek glass/metal design, which is available in a more polished form in the Honor 9. But a downside of using such materials to build the phone is that the Honor 8 can easily slide off any surface with a slight inclination. Hopefully, the tighter joins between metal and glass on the new Honor 9 will help prevent that.

A stark design difference between the two is that while the Honor 8 housed the fingerprint scanner on the back, the Honor 9 has it embedded in the home button.

Moving on to specs, last year’s model takes advantage of a 5.2-inch panel with 1920 x 1080 resolution and Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection, while the newcomer relies on a 5.15-inch display also with fullHD resolution. But the Honor 9’s screen covers the DCI-P3 standard, so it should deliver better color reproduction.

Internals

The Honor 9 relies on the same chipset Huawei’s previous flagships, the Mate9 and P10 bundle under the hood. The home-grown Kirin 960 is an octa-core SoC clocked at a maximum of 2.4GHz.

The new Honor will be available in several configurations including 4GB/64GB, 6GB/64GB or 6GB/128GB. A microSD card slot is also available for expanding memory up to 256GB.

In contrast, the Honor 8 rocks last year’s Kirin 950, also an octa-core affair clocked at 2.3GHz. The phone features two configurations – one with 4GB/32GB and another with 4GB/64GB.

Cameras

Both Honor 8 and Honor 9 feature main dual camera system. The older model includes a dual 12-megapixel assembly with f/2.2 aperture, laser autofocus and dual-LED.

The newcomer pairs a 20-megapixel monochrome sensor with an RGB 12-megapixel one. The main camera setup features f/2.2 aperture, phase detection autofocus, two-tone LED flash and 4K support, but note there’s no optical image stabilization (OIS) module.

When it comes to selfies, the Honor 9 has an 8-megapixel secondary shooter with f/2.0, while the Honor 8 offers the services of an 8-megapixel one with f/2.4.

Battery

The Honor 9 relies on a 3,200 mAh battery, while the Honor 8 included a non-removable 3,000 mAh battery. In our review of last year’s model, we found battery life was a big standout with the Honor 8, so we have to assume the 3,200 mAh battery will offer even greater results.

Other differences

The Honor 9 comes with some other notable differences compared to its predecessor. For starters, it’s the first model to get Huawei Pay treatment – the Chinese company’s own mobile service solution that comes to compete head to head with similar services like Android Pay, Samsung Pay or Apple Pay.

Moreover, the phone embeds a Hi-Fi audio chip that can according to the company, will bring 90% improvements in sound purity and 60% increase in fidelity. The product will ship with a bunch of custom Monster earphones.

None of these options are available in the Honor 8.

Being a newer device the Honor 9 ships out with Android 7.0 Nougat with the newer Emotion UI 5.1 onboard, while the Honor 8 has Android 6.0 Marshmallow by default. Luckily, Huawei rolled out the Android 7.0 Nougat update for the phone a while ago.

Value

If you’re looking to buy the Honor 8 now, you can pick the 32GB version from Amazon for $349. Oddly, buying the 64GB proves to be the cheaper alternative (at least on Amazon) as the phone is listed with a $319 price tag.

At Oppo Mart, the device is even cheaper, as the 32GB version can be acquired for $269.

As for the Honor 9, the phone is yet to become available for purchase in the US. Yet, retailers like Amazon or Best Buy will surely make it available at some point.

In Asia, the Honor 9 with 4GB/64GB will be sold for approximately $338, while the 6GB/64GB model will be available for $400. The most advanced variant with 6GB/128GB will bear a more advanced $441 price-tag. The Honor 9 seems a worthy upgrade over the Honor 8, so we’re quite excited to be getting our hands on it. Hopefully it will happen soon.